Anntenna Selection For Digital Simulcast System

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cozmosis

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I currently have a GRECOM PSR-500 handheld scanner and am currently using a SpectrumForce wideband antenna magnetically mounted to a cake pan. That worked lovely for the analog trunking system that used to be in place locally (Little Rock, Ark. area). However, our metro agencies are transitioning to a statewide 800 MHz digital system (AWIN) and now I am having issues because their traffic is simulcast from multiple tower sites.

Before the switch to digital, I had received a couple of recommendations to mount an Antennacraft ST2 base antenna in the attic to boost my reception. Now, with the simulcast problem, I've been told to look into a Yagi-style directional antenna. I'm 5 miles from the nearest tower site. I'd like to still mount the antenna in the attic, if at all possible. So, I come to you guys looking for suggestions... (DISCLAIMER - I'm pretty new at this digital scanning business.)
 

popnokick

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An old (or new) TV antenna turned so it is vertically polarized is a very low cost and effective directional Yagi for scanning that covers 800 mHz (and more). Sure, you can buy an 800 mHz Yagi for a lot more money... And some expensive coax to use with it. But an old (or new) TV antenna and some quad shield RG-6 is likely to work quite well. Turn it vertically and rotate until you get the clearest signal from one of the 800 mHz sites. After you've done that in the attic, disconnect the short RG6 jumper from your scanner and connect to the long run of RG-6 that goes to your scanner downstairs. Oh... It will also pick up VHF and UHF freqs that you might want to hear...something a dedicated 800 mHz Yagi will not do.
 
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bep

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So if I wanted to google TV antenna, what specifics am I looking for, since there are digital antennas being offered (if there is such a thing)
 

rescue161

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There is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. RF is RF, that's why popnokick suggested using an old antenna. There are manufacturers that put "digital" on there antenna(s) to sell to uneducated people at inflated prices, but a digital RF signal at 150 MHz is the same wavelength as an analog RF signal at 150 MHz.

You can make your own Yagi or other antenna for that matter for next to nothing.
 

bep

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Dave, I pulled the plug and your mentioned antenna is here. Snow and cold are keeping me from the roof, but other than orienting the radials vertically, anything else I need to do, or remove, or whatever.

Thanks
 

davedaver1

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nope - looks like it already has the 300/75 ohm transformer built in, so coax to the radio should be all you need!
 

bep

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Hopefully this weekend I will do a temp install in the attic to see if there is any improvement. Looks like it will be a while before I can get on the roof. Tough when you are a one man band.
 
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